Hi-tech swimsuits boost performance

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 September, 2009, 12:00am

Four Hong Kong records were smashed at the International Open Championships at Kowloon Park Swimming Pool, thanks to hi-tech swimsuits.

Technological wizardry helped swimmers shatter many world records at the world aquatics championships in Rome last month.

The swimsuits will be banned at all international competitions after December.

But many local students depended on the ultra-modern techniques to improve their performances over the weekend.

Form Five student Lum Ching-tat - one of the record breakers - was wearing his new weapon, the Arena X-Glide. But he was unhappy after damaging his HK$6,000 swimsuit which helped him set a 50-metre freestyle record of 23.1 seconds.

'My heart ached when I noticed a hole in my swimsuit after using it in the competition just once. It cannot be used again,' he said. 'The swimsuit was really expensive. Also, it took me lots of time and energy to put on and take off. My coach helped me put it on, which took about an hour.'

Ching-tat said the new swimsuit helped him psychologically.

'If I didn't have this kind of swimsuit but others did, I would have been feeling down even before the race started,' he said.

Ching-tat said he would buy two more X-Glides to boost his medal hopes at the East Asian Games later this year, even though they cannot be used after the competition.

The other record breakers were Eric Chan Wing-lim (men's 50m butterfly), Wong Kai-wai (men's 100m butterfly) and Wong Chun-yan (men's 50m breaststroke).

Chan, donning a Jaked 01, clocked 25.15 seconds in the heats.

Wong Chun-yan, who also opted for the same brand, set a new record of 28.91 seconds in his event.

The Jaked 01 is similar to X-Glide, and helped many swimmers achieve outstanding results in Rome.